Kettlebell Racking Tips

Kettlebell Rack Position

The kettlebell rack position is a position that each and every person working with kettlebells needs to use, whether for the press, jerk, front squat, racked walks, etc.

 

There is a correct way to rack a kettlebell and there is a clear reason why that is so. I explain below why one is the correct way to rack a kettlebell and the other is incorrect. I will also include some examples and illustrations that will clearly demonstrate how to rack a kettlebell. There is also an awesome free racking PDF that you can download. In short, this article here is a great resource to learn how to properly rack a kettlebell, a resource you can share, bookmark, and come back to.

 

Kettlebell Rack Position

The following illustration demonstrates the correct kettlebell rack position. The position is correct because the kettlebell is placed in such a way that the bell rests comfortably and there is a minimal amount of strain on the muscles.

Correct kettlebell rack position

 

The following illustration demonstrates the incorrect kettlebell rack position and I will list why this is so further below.

Incorrect kettlebell rack position

With the incorrect racking position, all the weight is placed on the deltoid through shoulder flexion and horizontal adduction. This is great if you want a good shoulder workout, but it’s not great when you need to perform high reps of presses, squats, jerks, or other exercises. A squat is performed to tax the quadriceps, and if your shoulders give up before you can complete the number of programmed squats then your training becomes inefficient. A kettlebell shoulder press is performed to tax the shoulder, but through the full range, if your shoulders give up because they’ve been under additional load through an incorrect racking position then your training becomes inefficient. I could go on, the point is, if you want to tax your shoulders through an isometric hold in the (incorrect) rack then do so, but if you want to train efficiently, then learn how to rack properly and why.

 

What Is the Kettlebell Rack Position?

The kettlebell rack or racking position is a position in which the kettlebell is positioned so that it’s comfortable and there is a minimal amount of stress on the muscles. The kettlebell rack is a position from which the kettlebell transitions to another kettlebell exercise or remains for added load during squats, walks, lunges, etc.

Kettlebell Racking Position
Kettlebell Racking Position

 

Barbell rack

 

How to Properly Rack a Kettlebell?

To rack a kettlebell properly:

  1. Good hand insertion (check free grip PDF)
  2. Neutral forearm
  3. Elbow flexed
  4. Trapezius relaxed
  5. Latissimus dorsi slightly pulling down
  6. Pectoralis major slightly pulling in
  7. The elbow is under the weight

With all that said, it should be known that there is not just one way to rack a kettlebell, the above explanation is the barebone basics. There are different racking positions for resting, power transfer, pressing, squatting, females, and so on. Learn so much more through our online kettlebell course for at-home users and trainers or buy the book.

 

How to Find Your Racking Position

Below is a detailed video in which Marcus Filly talks about kettlebell racking for Crossfitters. Marcus was kind enough to film a short tutorial for the Cavemantraining audience and you can unlock it with a simple share of this page through one of the buttons below. You’ll also find a link to the 25+ page free ebook called Master Kettlebell Racking that you can download right away.

Here is another resource that takes you through a step by step through the process of finding your kettlebell racking position.

 

 

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